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Today's Headlines Joko Widodo

  • Higher Interest Rates in 2015 Could Further Limit GDP Growth of Indonesia

    The economy of Indonesia, which has been slowing since 2011, will have difficulty to rebound in 2015 as the central bank’s key interest rate (BI rate) is expected to be raised again to avert capital outflows brought on by higher interest rates in the US and to combat accelerated inflation after domestic subsidized fuel prices have been raised by the new government led by president-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi). After a GDP growth pace of 6.5 percent (y/y) in 2011, economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy fell to 5.8 percent (y/y) in 2013.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 28 September 2014 Released

    On 28 September 2014, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic topics such Indonesia’s fuel subsidies, US interest rates, poverty, inequality, GDP growth, palm oil, rice, the Anas Urbaningrum graft case, as well as the passing of a new bill that ends direct voting in the regions, and more.

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Regional Election Bill and US Economic Data

    The most controversial and heatedly debated news story from Indonesia in the past week was parliament’s approval of a new bill that puts an end to direct voting in the regions. This means that it are not the people but instead the regional legislatures that will elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this is a major setback for the democracy process of Indonesia and will make local elections prone to corruption, collusion and nepotism as Indonesia’s legislatures - both at the national and regional level - are believed to be corrupted to a high degree.

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  • Democracy in Indonesia: Parliament Passes Bill to End Direct Local Voting

    Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) passed a controversial bill in the early morning of Friday (26/09) that is widely criticized by media and analysts. After a walk out of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party (the largest party in parliament having 148 out of 560 seats) in the plenary session, parliament agreed that direct voting in the regions will be scrapped, thus leaving it to the regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this bill is a setback for democracy.

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  • Rice in Indonesia: Irrigation, Sawah Size & Seeds Need Improvement

    Often the lack of quality and quantity of infrastructure in Indonesia has been cited as a reason for limited economic growth. Lack of adequate infrastructure causes the country's logistics costs to rise steeply, thus reducing competitiveness and attractiveness of the investment climate. Also in the country’s natural resources sector Indonesia’s infrastructure problems hamper development. For instance, the lack of quality irrigation to supply ample quantities of water to rice basins causes rice production to be far from optimal.

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  • ADB: Indonesia’s Economic Growth Slows in 2014; Accelerates in 2015

    A new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report says that the Indonesian economy is expected to slow on weak export performance in 2014 before picking up in 2015 as external demand improves and the new government’s reform agenda takes hold. In an update of its Asian Development Outlook 2014, the ADB trimmed its forecast for 2014 growth in Indonesian gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.3 percent from 5.7 percent expected in April. The ADB expects a growth pace of 5.8 percent in 2015, down from 6.0 percent in April.

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  • Jokowi to Cut Fuel Subsidies; Government Sets Aside Social Funds

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri stated that the Indonesian government plans to set aside a total of IDR 10 trillion (USD $837 million) in the state budgets of 2014 as well as 2015 to support the poor people of Indonesia through social safety programs. This is yet another indication that prices of subsidized fuels will be raised before the end of the year. Recently, it has been increasingly speculated that Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) will raise these prices by IDR 3,000 (USD $0.25) per liter.

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  • Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to Reform Indonesian Energy Sector

    Indonesia’s seventh president Joko Widodo, who will take office on 20 October 2014, wants to conduct several reforms in Indonesia’s energy sector in an attempt to combat illegal practices and optimize state income. Firstly, Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, plans to audit operations of state-owned Pertamina’s energy trading unit Petral to halt alleged fuel smuggling and corruption. Secondly, Jokowi wants to impose major changes at Pertamina. Lastly, the president-elect wants to curb coal exports to ensure domestic supplies for power plants.

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  • Budgetary Commission Proposes to Reduce Indonesia’s Energy Subsidies

    The Budgetary Committee of Indonesia’s parliament announced on Monday (22/09) that it proposes the government to spend 1.6 percent less on energy subsidies in 2015. Originally the government allocated IDR 363.5 trillion (USD $30.4 billion) for energy subsidies (which involves fuel and electricity subsidies) in 2015, up from IDR 350.3 trillion (USD $29.3 billion) in 2014. This would be good news for president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as he would imply have more fiscal room for his reform programs.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 21 September 2014 Released

    On 21 September 2014, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic topics such Indonesia’s fuel subsidies, the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting, the IPO of Blue Bird, August car sales, foreign investments in the insurance sector, a palm oil update, the current account deficit, and more.

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Latest Columns Joko Widodo

  • Widodo Wants Moratorium on New Palm Oil Concessions in Indonesia

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the nation's Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya to issue a moratorium on new palm oil concessions in a number of provinces. Although Widodo wants Indonesia - the world's top producer and exporter of crude palm oil (CPO) - to raise CPO output, he believes this increase can be achieved by increasing productivity of existing palm oil plantations, not by adding new plantations. Indonesia is often criticized by environmentalist groups for its forestry policies and poor law enforcement (which led to the severe haze that spread through Southeast Asia last year).

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  • Joko Widodo Orders Investigation into Indonesian Links in Panama Papers

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for an investigation into the Indonesian people and companies mentioned in the Panama Papers, the massive leak involving 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. These documents list names numerous people - including of political figures, businessmen, celebrities and sport stars - who have created secret shell companies and offshore accounts in tax havens (possibly in an effort to avoid tax obligations).

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  • Masela Gas Project Indonesia: Widodo Opts for Onshore LNG Plant

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo decided that the Masela liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant will be constructed onshore. Masela, located in the Arafura Sea (Moluccas), is Indonesia's largest deep-water gas project. Previously, Japan-based oil company Inpex Corp and Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell proposed to construct the LNG plant offshore (which would have made it the world's largest floating LNG plant). On Wednesday (23/03) President Widodo rejected the proposal after months of polemic. Contractors Inpex and Shell are not expected to withdraw from the project but will need time to adjust plans.

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  • Joko Widodo to Visit the Netherlands to Improve Trade Relations?

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo may visit the Netherlands in 2016. In an interview with Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf" newly appointed Indonesian ambassador to the Netherlands Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja hinted at Widodo's visit to the Netherlands. Ambassador Puja informed further that more information about this possible state visit is to follow in the next couple of weeks. "You will be surprised," he was quoted saying. Reportedly, Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, will visit Indonesia in the next two weeks to prepare Widodo's visit.

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  • World Bank: SPAN Improves Indonesia's Efficiency, Transparency & Accountability

    A new financial management system was launched in April 2015 by the Indonesian government. This new system, called Sistem Perbendaharaan dan Anggaran Negara (abbreviated SPAN), aims to enhance public efficiency, transparency and accountability in Indonesia by managing the financial transactions of more than 24,000 government spending units in all 33 provinces. According to a new World Bank story, Indonesia's new financial system has managed to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability. Moreover, it improves budget planning and spending.

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  • Jokowi Visits Silicon Valley; Inspiration for Indonesia's Digital Economy

    During Indonesian President Joko Widodo's visit to Googleplex, Silicon Valley (California) - headquarters of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Plug and Play - he emphasized that the government of Indonesia is committed to push for the development of the digital economy, aiming to make it the largest in Southeast Asia, worth USD $130 billion by 2020 (including the emergence of 1,000 Indonesian technopreneurs). In this context, Widodo also requested the assistance of Google, Facebook and Plug and Play in the form of IT development education.

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  • Infrastructure Development Indonesia: Gaining Momentum in 2016

    After having grown rapidly in the years 2010-2013, infrastructure development in Indonesia lost its momentum in 2014. This was due to limited available government funds, uncertainty caused by the legislative and presidential elections, and the nation's slowing economic growth. After Joko Widodo became Indonesia's seventh president in October 2014, it was expected that infrastructure development would revive. However, it didn't. But Widodo made one important move by seriously reducing energy subsidies, hence making more funds available for infrastructure development.

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  • Economic Policy Package Indonesia: What are the Stimulus Measures?

    In response to the ailing global economy, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has unveiled a new economic policy package that aims to boost economic growth of Indonesia amid a highly uncertain global context. On Wednesday (09/09), Joko Widodo (often called Jokowi) provided some details about the first phase of this new stimulus package during a speech at the State Palace in Jakarta.

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  • Geothermal Development Indonesia: Reducing Reliance on Fossil Fuels

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo (often called Jokowi) emphasized that the government of Indonesia needs to boost development of renewable energy. Although Indonesia contains huge potential for renewable energy (particularly geothermal energy), the share of renewable energy in Indonesia’s total energy use currently stands at around 5 percent only, the remainder being fossil energy. By providing incentives, attractive tariffs and an easier licensing and registration process, the government can generate more investment in this sector.

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  • Remarkable News Indonesia: to Insult or Criticize the President?

    In the past couple of days Indonesian media touched upon the government’s proposal to revive a law that had been removed by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court in 2006. This law makes the act of insulting the Indonesian president an illegal act and can lead to prison sentences and fines. Criticism on the government’s proposal immediately emerged as several legislators and human rights activists fear that freedom of speech will be curtailed in the young democracy. Moreover, it can further erode public support for President Joko Widodo.

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